The alliance between the business community and the Army is stronger than ever. And the evidence was undeniable at the Association of the United States Army’s Sustaining Member Luncheon at its Annual Meeting and Exposition, where James N. Miller, under secretary of defense for policy, cited the “largest drawdown since the end of the Cold War,” as the primary challenge facing the two allies.
Introduced by AUSA President Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., who noted this was the first time in history that Miller’s office has addressed sustaining members, Miller assured the audience that “the Army is not just soldiers.”
Miller noted that since 2008 the combination of budget cuts and sequestration have hurt the military to the tune of billions of dollars. And while today’s Army has established its strengths during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, “our readiness for other contingencies has dropped,” he said.
“We cannot withdraw to a [garrison] presence,” he said, noting that while the Army is smaller its responsibilities and strengths are greater than ever. Sequestration and other budget cuts pose real threats to Army readiness and to security the security of the nation, he said. Citing al Qaeda’s growing influence, the increased threats by non-state actors as evident by the mass murders at Fort Hood, and the increase in cyber warfare, among other concerns, Miller stressed that “it’s not business as usual.” While praising the business community’s obvious support to soldiers on the battlefield, he also commended the majority of the more than 500 Sustaining Members, for their support at home.